12 Floral Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 9DH

0845 521 4567

Ayesha Muttucumaru finds beauty paradise in the heart of London


Salon Spy: Sanctuary Spa Covent Garden

5 stars


Who would have known that just a stone’s throw away from Covent Garden’s Piazza lies a peaceful haven, hidden underneath the crowded cobbled streets above?

Not me for one. It was certainly the last thing I expected upon arriving at the doors of the women-only Sanctuary Spa - sweaty, stressed and ever so slightly unhinged after emerging from a packed, overcrowded London tube on the hottest day of the year.

I was escorted upstairs from the shop floor to an unexpectedly spacious and vast reception area where I was warmly greeted by the ladies at the front desk. As I went next door to the private restaurant to fill in my questionnaire, I couldn’t help but gawk at my surroundings, such was the transformation from street to spa.

I was booked in for an Express Polish, £35, Perfectly Polished Pedicure, £45, and an evening spent sampling the spa’s facilities, £55. My therapist Harley was professional and thorough, making sure that my feet could finally be deemed flip-flop ready before retreating back into the sweltering heat. You can choose between a hydrating treatment or one which targets and abolishes stubborn hard skin. I opted for the latter as my feet hadn’t seen the rough edge of a foot file in quite some time.

The spa’s specially developed Callus Removal Formula was applied to the areas of my feet that were suffering the most to soften them up, and my feet and nails were given a thorough overhaul. Colour-wise, I chose a summery coral from the huge selection of Jessica polishes available and was also given a travel-sized bottle to take away with me which I thought was a lovely touch.

The Express Polish was just as enjoyable. My nails were preened and polished and my cuticles were trimmed and given a rigorous tidy-up. I’d thoroughly recommend this as a speedy yet effective way of keeping hands looking their best when life gets busy - the perfect post-work treat.

Afterwards, I enjoyed the many delights of the peaceful koi carp lounge. Surrounded by cushioned loungers, a selection of glossy mags and various unconscious, bath-robed bodies, it’s safe to say that the place was built for serious relaxation. Overlooking two swimming pools, guests have the choice of either getting a few lengths in before a meal in the restaurant or even a swing if you so wish. Yes, I did indeed say swing. Used by Joan Collins in the film The Stud, an actual swing can be seen gently swaying back and forth above the pool and has, understandably, become an iconic feature of the spa.


With some of the best treatments in town (including facials from renowned facialist and GTG Expert, Nichola Joss) and a range of varied facilities available, I can see how The Sanctuary gets its great reputation. Sadly I didn’t get a chance to experience everything that it had to offer this time round, however that just gives me all the more reason to go back. With the option to purchase treatment and spa day vouchers too, I can’t think of a better gift for the woman in your life. Sadly my birthday has been and gone but with Christmas round the corner, I’ve got a good four months to start dropping some not-so-subtle hints.


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